The Seattle Storm Basketball team came to the Renton Community Center on March 27 to practice with the Renton Special Olympic athletes.
The practice kicked off with Storm trainers, along with starting shooting-guard Jewell Loyd, warming the athletes up with some drills that involved them taking the ball down the court, back and fourth.
According to Mary Adams, the specialized recreation coordinator at the Renton Community Center, the Seattle Storm partnered with Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit that is a health and wellness facility, to conduct events like this one to focus on “fit athletes” and getting active in the community.
“We have four clinics that we’re dong throughout the year. One of them is dedicated to Special Olympics. Kaiser Permanente is a big partner of Special Olympics,” said Nate Silverman, senior vice president of Corporate Partnership and Social Responsibility for the Seattle Storm.
Adams said once they heard about the opportunity for the athletes to practice with the Seattle Storm, they immediately grabbed the opportunity at hand.
“So Special Olympics of Washington approached us to see our athletes and our team would be interested in it and we jumped right on it,” Adams said. “Our teams are really excited about local sports teams like this. Last fall we did a practice with the Seahawks and when this came up too, like I said we jumped right on it.”
The athletes that were able to participate in the practice were part of the basketball leagues that are offered at the Renton Community Center.
“We have four teams total, including one skills team and three traditional teams that practice between January through the beginning of March,” Adams said.
About 30 athletes from ages 8 to their late 50s were able to join the Storm at the practice.
“You know they really deserve it. Some have been with the program probably a couple decades and it’s a real time commitment,” Adams said. “For them to get the opportunity to practice with notable teams in here in the area, we’re really excited for this opportunity. We’re so thankful Seattle Storm is coming out to practice with us and spend their time with us during their season too.”